Friday, 4 September 2009
Hmmm.. this one's been rattling around for a while. The realisation and exploration of my own desire to be real. To be authentic. And in equal measures, my appreciation of all things that show themselves in this way.
Nature, for example. Now I can't argue with that one! It is as it is - as a very dear friend of mine says "a tree is a tree, and don’t kick a tree for being a tree!"
A perfectly simple yet beautifully profound point. As is my nature, of course, I wanted more detail and he went on to explain "Nature is as it is, and useless to fight it, like ordering the tide not to come in, or trying to fight the wind or pull the stars from the sky"
But human beings? Well now, that's another subject altogether. As you'll know, I've experienced a great deal of duplicity over recent times, so truth and realism is now even more important to me than ever before.
When I started on my coaching pathway, it was always with the intention of being authentic with people. If someone genuinely wanted to make a difference then I'd be happy to help in every way possible. If not, well, that's their free choice and there's no invitation or requirement for me to intervene ("tree is tree").
Now, though, I'm beginning to wonder - or should that read wander?
Spiritual, religious, and cultural wisdoms, in my experience, all carry the same message - although often explained in different ways. And the message is this - that we are all of us already perfect, whole and complete. We are today, exactly where we choose to be, by our own free will and use of intention.
What, then, is the true purpose of those of us who put ourselves up as "coaches" "healers" "motivators" or any other label used to describe people who want to make a difference? Does our very role imply that we believe many people are less than perfect? And through our existence are we, therefore, feeding the very mis-belief that we are so determined to eradicate...?
Right here, right now, I choose to look at myself long and hard in the mirror.
Many years ago, when I was running regular Louise Hay workshops around the country, I worked with Max, a fellow trainer and great friend. He and I would ponder this question on many occasions, and we'd often come to the conclusion that there was no point in running such workshops since, if we are indeed all where we choose to be, and are already healed and whole, then the very existence of healing workshops such as ours served only to give credence to the (therefore) false belief that people are somehow incomplete. A little complicated to explain, perhaps, but we'd often end up jokingly agreeing that all we needed to do was to show up at the workshop and say "thank you for coming, and good bye, you are all already healed. Thanks!" We then decided that the next phase would be to stop offering workshops at all!
This may seem glib, and somewhat controversial, but it remains to this day an interesting point that I choose to explore at certain points. And right now is one of those points.
The story of a Taoist Farmer beautifully explains the concept. This particular version is told by Chin-Ning Chu in "The Asian Mind Game: unlocking the hidden agenda of the Asian business culture - a westerner's survival manual"
A man named Sei Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide. One day this beautiful horse disappeared. The people of his village offered sympathy to Sei Weng for his great misfortune. Sei Weng said simply "That's the way it is"
A few days later the lost mare returned, followed by a beautiful wild stallion. The village congratulated Sei Weng for his good fortune. He said "That's the way it is"
Some time later, Sei Weng's only son, while riding the stallion, fell off and broke his leg. The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sei Weng's misfortune. Sei Weng again said "That's the way it is"
Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sei Weng's lame son were drafted and were killed in battle. The village people were amazed at Sei Weng's good luck. His son was the only young man left alive in the village. But Sei Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply "That's the way it is"
And now, as I ponder my future career, and continue my own explorations, I truly believe that my days of executive coaching as it used to be are over. I'm checking in with my thoughts and emotions more than ever before, and each time I consider going back in to the market from where I came, I feel splintered. Because I can no longer give credence or devotion to that way of being. I know that I can do it, and many people have told me I am very skilled, but in my heart I am certain that I've moved past that point.
I now feel able to honestly ask myself, was I truly coaching people for them? Or was it actually for me? I'm in no way ungrateful or dismissive of the career I've enjoyed, in fact I feel honoured to have had such wonderful opportunities. I've achieved some fantastic results, which will stay with me for the rest of my life, but was my real and authentic intention for others? I truly believed so at the time, and I consistently put my heart, soul and full integrity in to everything that I did.
But now I feel I'm wandering away from that particular pathway. I feel I'm gaining a new and richer perspective.
Now I can honestly say I'm doing things for me. And if, along the way, I can still find a way to inspire others - not necessarily just through coaching and development, but through example and telling stories, then that's an added bonus.